« PredošláPokračovať »
entitled to be considered a solid body. Stars of the Nor will any one regard this explanation as forced, or smallest magnitude remain distinctly visible, though feel disposed to resort to a phosphorescent quality in the covered by what appears to be the densest portion of comet itself to account for the phenomena in question, their surface ; although the same stars would be com- when we consider (what will hereafter be shown) the pletely obliterated by a moderate fog extending only a enormous magnitude of the space thus illuminated, and few yards from the surface of the earth. And since it the extremely small mass which there is ground to attriis an observed fact, that even those larger comets, which bute to these bodies. It will then be evident that the have presented the appearance of a nucleus, have yet most unsubstantial clouds which float in the highest exhibited no phases, though we cannot doubt that they regions of our atmosphere, and seem at sunset to be shine by the reflected solar light, it follows that even drenched in light, and to glow throughout their whole thiese can only be regarded as great masses of thin depth, as if in actual ignition, without any shadow or vapour, susceptible of being penetrated through their dark side, must be looked upon as dense and massy whole substance by the sunbeans, and reflecting them bodies, compared with the filmy and all but spiritual alike from their interior parts and from their surfaces. texture of a comet."*
MORAL TRUTHS OF CHRISTIANITY.*
[The third and last volume of a series, at once learned and popular, eminently suited to the times, and fitted to be of great use in this country as well as in Germany. The author gives the best defence of Christianity by exhibiting its essential wisdom and good, by showing how it is the source of all that is effectual for the healing of the nations.] I.
natural sources of a nation's life, even of the most highlyCHRISTIANITY IN NATIONAL LIFE.
gifted nation, dry up at last, as we are taught by the
history of the ancient world. Christianity, however, is T is an unmistakable fact that God is lead
the perennial fountain of a moral life, in which even the ing our nation to a new era. After the
most debased of nations may ever be refreshed and renosupremacy of Spain in the sixteenth cen
vated. This is a fact which our nation has repeatedly tury, and that of France in the succeeding experienced, and the experience of the past is the best centuries, the German era seems to be dawning upon the instruction for the future. European world. But great as may be the political greatness and importance of the nation, its future will only be happy and blessed if it makes Christianity the firm foundation-stone of its new imperial edifice. We rejoice, and we have a right to rejoice, that the German
HOLY SCRIPTURE. name has so speedily become honourable among all na- The Church question is now the order of the day, and tions. Hitherto we had been esteemed only as diligent the interest felt in Church matters is widely diffused. labourers, as good material for the life-culture of other I will not now stop to inquire into the motives of this nations; when one morning the world awoke, and found interest, and its consequent value; I speak only of the to its surprise that Germany was the first among the fact. But when, by reason of this interest taken in nations. There is a national pride which is justifiable, Church matters, the question is to arrive at a decision, and for this we have ample reason. There is, moreover, by what standard must Church matters be judged and a national Pharisaism, and we are not without tempta- decided? The Protestant principle is, that in such tion thereto. When we look back, we cannot but ac- questions the last appeal must be to holy Scripture. knowledge that it was God's mercy, and not our own To it are we above all referred; it is to be the divine mirwisdom and soldiership, which so led our armies from ror for ourselves and for the Church. For this
purpose victory to victory, that we were like unto them that does our Church put the Scriptures into our hand, that dream ; that it was God's mercy which gave us that we may dive into them, read them, live in them. And German Empire which we had so long vainly dreamt of it is the glory of the Protestant that he has free access and longed for. Let us, then, as we look forwards, to them, and that no authority may block up his way to acknowledge also that nothing but faith in God, and in them. And they deserve this. We read much. But his revelation in Christ, can lay a firm foundation for holy Scripture deserves beyond all other books to be read. the edifice of our national future. The wisest policy, What a marvellous book it is! How stupendous and the truest patriotism, is to prepare a place for Chris- wondrous an edifice, from its foundations laid with the tianity in our nation, and in our national life. The huge and solid blocks, so to speak, of the account of the
beginning of all things and of the origin of the people Apologetic Lectures on the Moral Truths of Chris
of God, up to its lofty spire, towering above the limits tianity. Delivered in Leipsic in the Winter of 1872 by Chr. Ernst Luthardt, Doctor and Professor of Theology. Translated from the German by Sophia Taylor." Edinburgh : T. and T. Clark.
Herschell's "Outlines of Astronomy," p. 558, ed. of 1853.
of earth, and reaching into that eternal world of wbich their simplicity and poetical beauty that he left off for the Revelation of St. John gives us a distant glimpse ! a season his “ History of Spain," upon which he was then
We tread on holy ground when we enter this won- engaged, to translate these little tales, and thus to introdrous structure of holy Scripture. And the voices duce them among his own people. He preceded these which resound through its courts are sacred voices from “ Tractates d'Alsace" by a preface, in which he speaks another world; nay, the voice of God himself addresses of the difference between the French and German mind, us, not merely as the Lawgiver and Judge, but as the and of the influence of the Bible upon the national spirit Father seeking for his children. When we enter here, and literature of a people. “There is in the German we must first of all silence whatever opinions and pre- mind a strangely charming mixture of the naïve and the judices we may entertain or bring with us, surrender sublime, of the childlike and the profound, resulting ourselves unreservedly to the impression which God's from the honest nature of this primitive people, who Word makes npon us, and let it do its work upon our have kept closer to nature than we have done, and are souls. This is the main point. Hunian scholarship endowed with an indestructible youth, which defies the may be needful to give us access to the full understand- | lapse of ages. If there are in the world two types of ing .of holy Scripture; but then, having entered, we mind so oppositely constituted that they can never must leave all human knowledge without, and simply understand each other, they are the French and German. hearken. Scripture was given to us by God, not to be One always ironical, ready to jest at itself and others ; an object of learned investigation, not to enlarge our the other 'sincere even to childishness (enfantillage, historical or philological knowledge ; it does indeed do indignant at jesting which is contrary to its nature, and us service in these matters; but its ultimate aim is a re- ready to take offence when it feels itself misunderstood. ligious one, and our proper attitude towards it must also I have travelled much, both in north and south, and be a religious one. The first essential in the Christian there is one fact which I have everywhere met with. life is prayer, and the second is love to holy Scripture Wherever the Bible is not made the foundation-stone and living in it.
of education, of society, and of every form of life, there It may be truly said that there never was a time in is no literature for children or for the people. Look at which Scripture was so widely diffused as in our own. Spain, Italy, and even France-in a word, at every Care is taken that it shall be in the hands of all. But
country in which the Bible is not read: nowhere is it may also be said that since the press made Scripture there any reading for the child or the labourer. In the common property of Christians, there never was a Germany and England, on the contrary, there exists a time in which it was, on the whole, so little read and Christian children's and popular literature, in which, as known, and so foreign to the masses of Christendom, as in a mirror, the national spirit is clearly reflected." In the present. To be well grounded in Scripture was these words does a Frenchman tell us the secret of our formerly the boast and the acquirement of many. How strength and of the soundness of our national life. The few can be called so now! Much time and pains are Bible in the family, the Bible in the school, the Bible in devoted to religious questions ; much interest taken, it the Church, is the good old German and Protestant custom. may be, in matters of Church government; much conflict perhaps waged for the advancement of the Church ; but that which should have the first place is passed by, and very little attention is paid to the Bible. And yet
FRIENDSHIP AND SOCIABILITY. it is the Protestant principle that in all matters, religious and ecclesiastical, the decision rests with holy FRIENDSHIP played a great part in the ancient world, Scripture. And apart from this, is there a work in the and was of great importance in both a political and German language of which we have more reason to be scientific sense. Spartan legislation made the friendproud than Luther's translation of the Bible? What ship of the man with the growing youth the foundation have we not as a nation possessed in our Bible? It has of political virtue; the man was to inspire the youth ever furnished the best and purest nutriment of our in- with the spirit of the political constitution. In battle, tellectual life. Hence have we derived our poetry and friends stood by and protected each other, as Socrates our practical wisdom--here have we found gladness in and Alcibiades in the battle of Potidæa; the friends labour, even solace in suffering. Nor let it be forgotten Epaminondas and Pelopidas were associated in the wor; that there is nothing so calculated to form a bond of of aggrandizing their country; and the sacred band of union between the different classes and grades of our Thebans was an association of friends. Art, moreover, population, nothing which can make our national spirit whether plastic or poetic, delighted to do honour to the so healthy, and in the best sense so popular, as holy alliances of friends, from the friendships of Achilles and Scripture. A French scholar, Rosseuw St. Hilaire, pub- Patroclus, of Orestes and Pylades, down to that of the lished, in the French language, some few years since, a tyrannicides Harmodius and Aristogiton. It was, to. collection of Alsatian proverbs and tales. In the midst with the purpose of being a thorough Greek, that Ales. of his learned labours he met with these productions of ander entered into the bonds of friendship with Hethe German mind in Alsace, and was so struck with phæstion. If friendships were generally commenced
upon the arena of the gymnasia, their importance ex- the service of the Master to whom they had devoted tended not merely to personal and political life, but their lives. It is, however, true that friendship does formed also the basis of scientific studies and schools of not occupy in the Christian the exclusive position it philosophy. It was a tie of friendship which united the possessed in the ancient world. It is no longer all in Pythagoreans to each other, and attracted the disciples all; it is but one member in the organism of moral life, of Socrates to their beloved master. Hence it is no one ray of the moral sun. That sun itself, which rose marvel that not only poets and artists did honour to with Christ, is love-Christian love to the brethren, and friendship, but that philosophers made it the subject of general love to man, with its whole circle of Christian their investigations. Aristotle devotes to it no less than virtues. To this highest of all virtues, friendship is two of his ten books on Ethics; and he who is elsewhere subordinate. But what it seems to lose in importance so calm, cold, and sparse in words, rises almost to poetic it gains in inward worth by the consecration it receives flights and warmth of feeling when he speaks of friend- from the Christian spirit. ship.
Friendship in the abstract is independent of ChrisWhat, then, let us ask, was it that gave such import- tianity, for it is a relation natural to man. Internal ance to friendship in the ancient world ? It was as- affinity of natural qualities and feelings brings together suredly perceived that morality must be the basis even the like-minded and like-disposed. It is at the time of political action. But what force was to impart of life when the properties of heart and mind develop, strength to morality ? Nothing for such a purpose was that we seek in another the supply of that which is known but law. Even Aristotle knew no other means lacking in ourselves by combining with kindred souls. of moral education than the law of the State. But it is Youth is the time for forming friendships. Later years, obvious that, while law can determine and regulate the when peculiarities become settled and confirmed, make external conduct, it is powerless to impart the inward us more conscious of difference than of affinity in others. spirit of morality. The letter killeth ; the spirit alone It is but rarely that the man of mature age enjoys the giveth life. Antiquity had, however, no other and happiness of obtaining a friend in the true sense of the higher moral power. Its religion was a summary of word. The period of youthful development is the time external precepts, and knew nothing of personal self- for friendship. For even though in later life, not only surrender to God. To us the family is the sphere of their outward lot, but their inward opinions, whether the highest and dearest of human associations. In the political or religious, may more or less sever youthful ancient world, marriage was too much regarded from friends, the ties of memory and of former connection the point of view furnished by the interest of the State ; will still remain, even between those now parted. and in Athens it was rather a sensuous than a moral Friendship seeks in another merely himself. It is fellowship. It did not then offer the personal satisfac- not the profit which may accrue to our own nature, to tion and moral elevation which we seek in it. Hence, our mental development or wealth, which we must seek friendship took the place of the wanting moral power. in friendship. Such a friendship, in which one man One friend was to be in the eyes of another the realiza- regards another merely as a means for the attainment of tion of the moral ideal, and to furnish him with that his own ends, be they ever so intellectual, is but selfishinward spiritual impulse which the law was powerless ness. It is inward communion of heart that we seek, to produce.
and this it is that friends cherish by that personal inThis view of friendship, however, exacted more of it tercourse in which each devotes himself to the other, than it was able to afford. It was a pleasant delusion, and finds mutual pleasure in the other's affection. indeed, but only a delusion.
Friendship is based, indeed, upon natural properties; Reproach has often been cast upon Christianity for but it is itself a moral relation, and cannot, therefore, lacking that high appreciation of friendship which pre- exist without exercising a moral agency. That is no existed in the ancient world. With the revival of true friendship which would not venture upon or endure humanism at the time of Petrarch was revived also the moral exhortation and reproof. It is on this account eulogy of ancient friendship; and during the decadence that no friendship can be durable which does not rest of Christianity in the last, and the subsequent romantic upon an agreement of moral sentiments. The latter period in the present century, the worship of friendship decades of the former, and the first decades of the prewas renewed. Christianity and holy Scripture are, sent century, exhibit a series of friendships, especially however, quite as well acquainted with friendship as in the various literary circles of the period, which were the non-Christian world. The friendship of David and of a merely ästhetic nature. Jonathan is equal in poetic tenderness and fervour to The terms in which these friends speak of and to any mentioned among the ancients; and what was it each other are often of a very excessive kind; but a but a tie of friendship that subsisted between the earliest perusal of their respective correspondences forces upon disciples of Christ? It was by friends that the new us the conviction that there is a lack of heartfelt earepoch of the Christian era was introduced ; and the nestness in this superabundant worship of friendship. history of the Church presents us with many examples And this is borne out by facts; for in many instances it of friends, whose affection became a mutual incentive in has happened that these friends have become indifferent,
or even hostile. Friendship is durable only when it is moral law, and must receive therefrom its measure, and based upon common moral and religious sentiments. I its precepts of modesty, truth, and love. Social intercannot be the friend of him who rejects and despises my course is not work, but enjoyment; and enjoyment is Lord and Saviour. Christianity does not, indeed, make recreation from work. It is this which must determine friends, but it is the spiritual force which binds their its measure, and that of the various pleasures and eninmost hearts together. And it is true of friendship, as joyments that may be connected with it. These are of every other human relation, that it finds its highest all lawful, so far as they furnish the recreation needed truth in Christianity.
by work, and thus subserve, instead of hinder, the busiFriendship exists only between the few, but we have ness of our calling. intercourse with the many; and even those who are far Every enjoyment has its sensuous side, and senu usremoved from ourselves in intellectual respects must ness of every kind has its dangers. You all know how not be objects of indifference. Man must show a kindly great are these dangers, and how numerous are the feeling to, and find pleasure in, his fellow-man; for offences of ordinary society; for there is a refined as from all flows forth that varied wealth of human nature well as a coarse sensuality, and the former is often more which God has displayed before us, that we should infectious than the latter. rejoice in and enjoy it. Thus are formed those various In social intercourse each should show his best side relations of a slighter kind which must be cherished. to others. This involves the danger of untruthfulness. The form of this manifold and freer intercourse is socia- We try to appear better or more amiable than we really bility. This purely human relation of social intercourse There are untruths of external appearance as extends beyond the limits of business, association, and well as of word. The temptation to untruthfulness friendship.
dodges our every step in daily intercourse. I know well It is true that business and friendship will ever form that there is in our language a multitude of expressions the central points round which this wider circle of which are worth far less than they seem ; it is a desociety will gather; for we must not seek acquaintances preciated currency. We cannot dispense with these erarbitrarily, but take them as they arise from the mani- pressions of courtesy, if we mean to have any intercourse fold contact into which we come with our fellows. But at all with others. We are obliged to speak of esteen what we seek in another with whom we enter into and devotion when, perhaps, little or none exists. But social relations is not the business associate nor the there is a tacit understanding with respect to such friend, but the man himself; for his fellow-man is to be phrases. Every one knows what they mean, and no one regarded with indifference by none, but to be to him an attributes to them a higher meaning, though even in object of affection and delight. God has implanted such matters there is a certain moral tact which will certain natural gifts in every man, and these each must know how to preserve moderation and avoid extremes, offer to and rejoice over in another. It is this unre- Our words, however, become really untrue when we give served and mutual interchange of giving and receiving others occasion to attribute more meaning to them than that forms the charm of social intercourse. We do not is really intended. Our social intercourse is full of frequent society to learn, or in some way to profit by it; courtesies and flatteries, which are purposely designed we frequent it for its own sake. And it is just this that to be taken in a fuller sense than the heart of the forins its value and importance. It brings men together, speaker feels, and therefore to deceive those to whom arouses their mutual interest and good-will, and obliges they are addressed. This is contrary to the moral law them to exercise that self-control which opposes their of truth, and a Christian must not be misled into treadnatural faults, and thus removes all that might interrupt ing the path of such conventional falsehood. or destroy social intercourse. By thus disposing every Sociability is the expression of that general good-will one to show his better side to others, it generates that which man should show to his fellow; and grievously as healthy atmosphere of social life which reacts with others are sinned against by unloving words even in salutary and moralizing effect upon each individual. social intercourse, it still conduces, or at least should It is this that imparts to society that refreshing influ- conduce, to arouse and cherish mutual interest and goodence which sheds itself over the dusty hours of labour, will. Such good-will, however, as is shown by sociability, like the refreshing dew that falls upon the thirsty is not worth much, unless it is more deeply rooted in flowers.
that love which beholds in another not the natural Christianity, you will, however, say, has not much to amiability or interesting mental qualities he may paso do with such sociability; and it must be admitted that sess, but an immortal soul created by God and redeemed companionship is a human want even in a Christian. by Christ. We soon feel the difference between a merely Not religious subjects and spiritual songs alone should external and transitory interest, and that deeper heartconstitute the matter of intercourse, even of Christians. interest which desires our real good ; and we experience The abundant variety of natural life, and the sphere of but too often how acquaintanceships of niany years' intellectual interests, as well as the bidden depths of standing are exchanged for complete indifference, when the soul, must furnish such matter. But for this very they have no deeper foundation than merely sensible cr reason, social intercourse, like all else, is placed under intellectual enjoyment. Here, too, it is the religious
and moral basis of the inner life which bestows its higher yet it may be a widely different moral substance with truth upon even this outmost circumference of natural life. which these varying forms are filled. I may betake
A life of action requires the pauses of recreation. myself to a certain recreation in a moral spirit, and seek Play of one kind or other is the most usual form of therein invigoration for renewed exertion, or I may seek recreation, whether our minds find pleasant exercise in and find in it food for my inmoral inclinations. In the various forms of playful conversation, in wit or fact, nothing a man does is morally indifferent; but humour, or we employ the intervals of labour in the every act, down to the most seemingly indifferent, down many forms of gymnastic exercises ; whether the young to eating and drinking, and to the very fashion of our amuse themselves with the easy and harmonious move- garments, has a moral importance and value bestowed ments of the body in the dance, or the old seek repose upon it by the spirit and intention which we put into for their weary minds in easy and alluring games of it. And not unfrequently will the practised eye detect chance. All this seems of a nature so indifferent, as the inward character manifested in these most external to withdraw altogether from moral estimation. And of matters.
THE LITTLE CHIMNEY-SWEEP.
FOUNDED UPON FACT.
Call upon Me in the day of trouble : I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me.”—Ps. 1. 15.
weak voice before the gate of a large suffering ones outside. Perhaps master and maid were
cry they guilty of sin; and surely God, who notes the fall of followed by a violent fit of coughing.
a sparrow, marked the careless treatment of his two suf“O Ned,” said the little sweep, in a plaintive voice, fering ones on this morning. Let us not judge others, to his brother, “why do people tell us to come at five however, but see to it that we err not in like manner. o'clock, and then keep us a-waitin' like this in the Flora listened, and when she felt sure that they had cold ?"
been admitted, she comforted herself with the idea that “ Don't know, Charlie boy. 'Cause they're lazy, most the poor boy with the sad cough would be better now, likely, and don't want to leave their snug beds ! Here, and turned over to sleep again, and to dream of what I'll shout next, while you pull the bell.”
she would do for the sick chimney-sweep. Carrying out his intention, Ned shouted with so much At breakfast on this morning, Mr. and Mrs. Westmore power, that he startled the occupants of the front rooms. were surprised by the request of their little daughter
“ Bother those sweeps," was the irritable exclamation that she might go to visit the little sweep. of Mr. Westmore to his wife; "why does not Mary “What for, my darling ?" said her mother. answer their first ring ?”
“O mother, he has such a fearful cough, just like"Before any reply came, however, from his drowsy and, lowering her voice to a whisper, Flora repeated, partner, he had turned over, and was again fast asleep. “just like dear Fred's was.” In an adjoining room lay Flora, a little girl of about ten Mrs. Westmore for a moment was silenced by the years, the only child of Mr. Westmore. Startled by mention of her boy's name, for he had not been dead Ned's shout, she too for a moment yielded to impatience twelve months; but recovering her composure, she said at being thus awakened; but in another instant impa- presently: "Well, dear, and what do you want to do if tience gave way to sorrow, for she caught the sound of I give you permission to go ?" Charlie's cough.
Why, mamma, take him things to make him bet“Oh, what a cough that poor sweep has ! If I am ter." cold in this snug bed, what must he feel to be out in the “So you shall, my darling, when you have finished cold now, with such a dreadful cough! I do wish Mary your morning lessons with Miss Prescott. She shall would go and let them in.”
show you the way." As Flora uttered this wish half aloud, Mary slowly “Do you know him then, mamma?” said Flora, descended the stairs, and unlocking the door, loudly re- scarcely able to sit still for joy. proved the sweeps for their impatience, before she pro- “Yes, dear; he is the child of Widow Astlake. When ceeded to the gate in order to admit them, quite forgetful younger, she worked for me; but for some time I have of the fact that she had kept them waiting an unreason- lost sight of her. Mary tells me that she has only two able time. Ah, Selfishness ruled in the heart of Mary sons, both of whom are sweeps." at this nioment, as much as in that of her master when “Then I may go and see them! Oh, thank you,